Norway through Spanish eyes
As a traveler, do you find yourself creating great expectations of the country you are about to visit? This is the case for Spanish students travelling to Norway. But do these expectations hold to be true? Or are they proven to be false?
When Spanish students know that their Erasmus destination is Norway, the first thing they do is buy an abundance of sweaters, scarves and gloves.
– I brought my suitcase full of coats, because it’s Norway and it’s supposed to be snowing all day! explains Xénia Puig.
Tall and blonde
– Like every Erasmus student, the next thing we are worried about is how our Norwegian classmates and roommates are going to be.
– Physically, for us they should definitely all be blonde, have blue eyes and be taller than us, says Cristina Lláo. Regarding their personality, it is commonly said in the southern countries that people from the north are colder, shyer and more introverted, Antonio García states.
– I thought that interacting with Norwegians and becoming a part of their group would be really difficult, adds Cristina. Furthermore, because of the stereotypes created by movies and series, we expected them all to be perfectionists who are extremely organized, punctual and respectful. With these kind of qualities in mind, it was impossible to think that Norwegians had time to party and have fun! It is also said that they are the kings and the queens of sports, especially winter sports. Some legends even say that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet!
Expectations VS. Reality
Once we arrived in Norway, we soon realized that we don’t need to wear fifteen coats every time we go out. In fact, there are even times when the sun shines and it is actually hot. Xénia explains that she was surprised because in her first month here she was able to wear short-sleeved shirts and take a bath in the lake, something that she had never imagined even in her sweetest dreams! In regards to their physical aspect,
– It is true that most Norwegians are blonde, tall and blue-eyed, says Cristina. However, there are also some exceptions as some Norwegians are even more tanned than the Spanish! Concerning their personality, it is a fact that Norwegians are more shy and introverted.
– In general, we have to take the initiative if we want to have a conversation with a Norwegian or enter a new group, reveals Antonio.
Nonetheless, once you have initiated contact with them – they are really friendly, open minded and they do their best to help you in any way they are able to, claims Xénia.
Moreover, the stereotype comes true when we talk about respect: they are extremely respectful in any kind of situation. However, it is not true that they all are organized perfectionists and it is definitely not true that they don’t party:
– They organize huge parties with a lot of alcohol, exclaims Cristina.
It is also false that they are all good at sports, even though the ones who are good, are truly good. Although some stereotypes were fulfilled and resembled reality, others were completely false. The conclusion we can draw from this is that Norway is like any other country. Even though we try to generalize it, there will always be something or someone who will break some of the rules.